Annual Rotary Golf Day presented by Buco St Francis

Annual Rotary Golf Day presented by Buco St Francis

The Annual Rotary St Francis Golf Day, presented by Buco St Francis, is scheduled for 27 April 2024 at the St Francis Old Course.

Have you ever wondered just what Rotary does for the community? Read on! It’s quite an amazing list of projects that they are working on, and we would like to thank Rotary and all their hard-working volunteers. They also donated to the Seal Point Boardriders Surf Club to help them with an up-to-date First Aid kit.

 

ROTARY CLUB OF ST FRANCIS COMMUNITY UPLIFTMENT PROJECTS

Annual Rotary Golf Day

 

 

 

 

Rotary Club of St Francis Areas of Focus:

  •   Education and Youth Development
  •   Health
  •   Environment
  •   Skills Training and Job Creation
  •   Food Security

    Rotary Club of St Francis Projects:

    Donations from the public, Foundations and Corporates as well as the proceeds of the Club’s fundraising events like the Annual Rotary Golf Day support the following projects:

  •   Disney Land Creche – substantial improvement to this small school’s infrastructure have been facilitated by the Club. This includes replacing the roof, improving the toilet facilities, construction of a secure boundary fence and gate, provision of water storage tanks. In addition, the school has been supplied with new cooking and catering facilities, educational equipment and restored playground equipment.
  •   Talhado Children’s Haven Montessori Pre-Primary School – This school has been assisted with ongoing maintenance to the school buildings including roof replacement, upgraded cooking and catering equipment, computers and Montessori teaching aids, playground equipment and upgraded ablution facilities. The school is in need of funds to provide ongoing training to the Montessori teachers who are all Sea Vista residents and to build an extra classroom. The school’s fundraisers for teachers’ salaries and running costs are supported by the Club wherever possible.
  •   Sea Vista Primary School – The club contributes to the educational fund in collaboration with the St Francis United Church. This fund is utilized to pay supplementary teachers to ease the stretched teacher/student ratio. The Club also donates ad hoc funding for sporting activities, prizes and transport.
  •   Woodridge College Interact Club – youth development is a key Rotary International focus area. Interact clubs are high school level junior Rotary clubs. Woodridge College has an active membership and the club is supported by Rotary Club of St Francis.
  •   Rotary Exchange Program – To date our Club has sent two St Francis teenagers on the 12 month youth exchange program. One to the USA and one to Italy. In addition we sent one young lady from Sea Vista to Argentina on a 6 week cultural exchange. The Club has so far hosted one exchange student from the USA on the 12 month program and one from Argentina on the 6 week cultural exchange.
  •   Sea Vista Library – This club was instrumental in facilitating the construction of the Sea Vista library through the Kouga Wind Farm as well as the provision of books in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, computer equipment and Wi-Fi.

ROTARY CLUB OF ST FRANCIS

  •   Sibanye Ladies Group – The Club supports all the fundraising activities and projects undertaken by the Sibanye Ladies in Sea Vista. These include skills development (reading in English, sewing, beadwork, yoga and swimming/lifesaving classes). In addition, the club contributes funds for the Ladies’ project to supply teenage boys and girls of Sea Vista with basic hygiene products such as soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and sani-pads.
  •   St Francis Galaxy Football Club and other sports – wherever possible the club facilitates donation of used sports equipment and clothing for under privileged children’s sports development.
  •   Sea Vista Clinic – The Club assists with providing much needed medical equipment, and mobility aids. Furnishings, filing cupboards and shelving for the pharmacy have also been funded. The Club is in the process of planning the expansion of the clinic to provide for improved facilities for patients with TB and other additional services.
  •   Hospice – the Club runs regular fundraising events to raise running costs for Hospice in the Kouga region. Equipment and consumables such as adult nappies have also been funded.
  •   Ons Tuiste Retirement Home – Many of the residents of this old age home in Humansdorp rely on SASSA pensions alone. The Club is looking at ways in which to assist with the running of this important facility for the elderly.
  •   Wheelchair and mobility aids program – The Club facilitates donations of new wheelchairs and mobility aids through the Cheshire Homes and Dischem Foundation.
  •   Food security – The club manages funding donated for the food relief program initiated at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown crisis. During this time food packages were packed and distributed by the Club in collaboration with the St Francis United Church and the Disaster Volunteer Group. Ongoing funding is allocated to the four recognized soup kitchens in Sea Vista and food parcels distribution at other times of crisis such as shack fire disasters.
  •   Kromme Enviro Trust – wherever possible the Club supports this organisation’s efforts to protect our environment and to raise funding. Coastal clean-ups are a regular feature on the Rotary calendar.
  •   F.O.S.T.E.R (Friends of St Francis Nature Areas) – the Club has committed to assist with funding FOSTER projects to protect and preserve our important natural areas and nature reserves.
  •   St Francis Tourism – the Club works in collaboration with this organization to promote greater St Francis as a tourism destination. Tourism provides much needed employment for a great many people in the region.

    All the institutions have attempted to obtain funding from various sources, with little or no success. Some institutions receive limited, but insufficient financial support from Government. All the other institutions are reliant on support from donors or the private sector.

  • The Rotary Club of St. Francis has supported these institutions over the years and is well placed to provide a conduit for the management of funds raised and the identified

If you require any further information please contact our Club Secretary (contact@rotarystfrancisbay.org) or visit our website www.rotarystfrancisbay.org.

FOSTER AGM 2024

FOSTER AGM 2024

FOSTER AGM – 2 April 2024

FOSTER held its AGM at the Cape St Francis Resort on Tuesday 2 April in front of a large audience which were also there to listen to a fascinating talk by Emeritus Prof Cowling titled: -“Not planning with Nature: Vulnerability of the greater St Francis region to storm damage”.

Below are the highlights extracted from the FOSTER AGM 2024 report of the Chairman – Matt Gennrich..

He welcomed the attendees with a quote from Nathanial Hawthorn’s that “Time flies over us but leaves its shadow behind” after commenting  that being involved with FOSTER is mostly fun, but as with everything in life there are some challenging moments and not everyone always likes what or how we do things at FOSTER, He thanked the committee for their commitment and hard work emphasisng that they share the same vision and passion for the reserves and believe in what they are doing and why. He then introduced and welcomed the new committee members, Denis da Silva, Malcolm Divine, and Shirley Cowling, as well as Errol Burman from Rotary Nita Claassen was not available for reelection.

“Dave Bowmer, our reserve manager deserves special thanks as he and his small team work tirelessly to improve and maintain the trails in the reserves whilst continuing to clear aliens, a never-ending task. It is with sadness however, that I must advise that one of Dave’s team members, Luvuyo Neti or Chris, passed away at the beginning of this year. Our sincere condolences to his family. He is missed on the team. Lwandisa Balimane (or Jerry) has joined the team and is fast learning the ropes.

Shipwreck Display

We also have Dave Bowmer to thank for the shipwreck display in the Anchor Garden at the entrance of Cape St Francis. Thank you to the Cape St Francis Civics, Lighthouse Construction, and the Rotary Club of St Francis for your financial and in-kind contribution.

Another special thanks must go to Wentzel Coetzer, from Conservation Outcomes, for getting FOSTER to the finishing line to complete the process of proclamation of what will be known as the Greater Irma Booysen Nature reserve. This will include the Irma Booysen, Seal Point and Seal Bay Reserves and after one more public participation meeting is held and concluded successfully, the MEC responsible should sign the proclamation document.

The Irma Booysen Flora Reserve will then be formally declared as a Nature Reserve in terms of Section 23 of NEM: Protected Areas Act (No. 57 of 2003) by notice in the provincial Government Gazette. The land is owned by the KM which is responsible for its management. All protected areas/nature reserves/national parks are proclaimed in terms of this legislation. In this sense, all have the same legal status. However, in terms of ecological diversity, our reserves can’t compete with a national park, which must fulfil many requirements to be declared as such.

A last requirement once the reserve is proclaimed is that a management plan needs to  be compiled and submitted to the MEC’s office. We have already had one public meeting and Richard has completed a draft plan which is with Conservation Outcomes for comment and input. The next step is to have another public meeting for comment on the draft plan and the then finalisation of the plan.

FOSTER AGM 2024 – Climate Change

For anyone who doubted the reality of climate change, 2023 should have convinced even the most ardent sceptic of its certainty.  September saw a particularly massive storm which saw waves lapping at the fence of the lighthouse. Most of our paths on the Wildside were severely affected with serious damage on the section from Queen of the West Boulevard to Sunset Rocks. Thank you to Rotary and the Hempel family for their generous contributions which funded the repairs.

As mentioned earlier we have received nominations for new committee members and except for Nita, all the current members are available for re-election. The meeting accepted the  committee for 2024 which apart from the 3 new members remains the same.”

Port Folio Reports

Reserve and Fire-Reduction ManagementRichard Cowling

FOSTER manages the Irma Booysen Flora Reserve, the Seal Bay Nature Reserve, the Seal Point Nature Reserve (all Municipal) and the (Provincial) Cape St. Francis Nature Reserve, which together comprise approximately 330 ha natural habitat. FOSTER’s core management tasks are the removal of alien regrowth, removal of indigenous problem plants (mainly bitou) in key biodiversity areas, the maintenance of the path network (including litter removal), the maintenance of reserve signage, maintaining system of firebreaks, and keeping the tracks through the Irma Booysen Flora Reserve and in the Cape St. Francis Nature Reserve accessible for fire and other emergency services. In total, FOSTER spent R471 896 on reserve management during 2023, the largest amount since the inception of the organization. A massive thanks to the donors who enabled this (see above for details).

St Francis Bay Cycling Club, Kromme Trust – Trevor Gascoyne

FOSTER’s relationships with the local Cycling Club, Running Club and Kromme Trust continue to strengthen and engagement with them remains robust and positive.

The cycling community’s awareness of the ecological sensitivity of our trails and their adherence to only riding on the demarcated paths has becoming well established and once again there have been minimal transgressions of riders on the “non-cycling” trails. Similarly, there have been no negative incidents between cyclists, walkers and/or runners over the peak season in December.

FOSTER and the Kromme Trust’s relationship remains very strong and collaborative and the representation at each other’s committee meetings helps to maintain and improve quick and easy communication between the parties.

Projects and EventsPaul Nicholson

FOSTER Golf Day

As predicted Saturday the 4th turned out to be a typical St Francis windy day. FOSTER committee member Paul Nicholson, responsible for organising the golf day feared a cancellation or postponement. However, by 06h45 the first of the 110 golfers of the day were getting ready to tee off. An added attraction for playing for playing in the FOSTER Golf Day is of course the amazing prizes that our generous sponsors provide us with, without whom such a golf day would never be the success that it was.

Marketing  – Matt Gennrich 

FOSTER Jol

The second revived FOSTER Jol was held in May 2023, with the Cape St Francis Resort coming to the party in more ways than one and supplying the party goers with an amazing array of potjie curries. The event was again a sell-out with the local popular band, Lions Gate, entertaining the crowd well into the night, ensuring that the dance floor was packed with people to rock-and- roll and boogie to their hearts’ content.  As always, FOSTER is grateful to Anita, Jason, Fasie and the staff of the Resort for supporting not only this event, but also providing the venue for AGM and Committee meetings. The 2024 Jol is in the planning stages.

FOSTER has  been able to build a good relationship with Rotary who are an amazing group of people and are able to raise large funds for our local community which fortunately also includes environmental projects. Our very generous anonymous donor continues to make his annual contribution to the alien removal project as does his group of friends who provide more than half of our annual budget. Many thanks to them for their generosity as well as our other donors. This has been one of the reasons that FOSTER has been able to embark on a step-change approach to our reserve management as outlined in Richard’s report.

Once again, the support received from our local media, who always willingly carry any news submitted by FOSTER, has played a significant role in helping to increase the awareness of FOSTER and a big thank you to Craig Jarvis,  the editor of St Francis Today and Wildside Times as well as  Bev Mortimer from the St Francis Chronicle. Thank you..

Our new WhatsApp Group now has 227 members and allows us to do quick updates and inform people about the work being undertaken in the reserves.

Financial ReportEmily Buchanan

The past three years have seen a vastly expanded FOSTER budget, due to our generous donors, some who give a great deal of money but prefer to remain anonymous. We have seized this opportunity to maintain and improve the reserves, and to provide full-time employment for three local people. We also use local businesses whenever possible, whether to buy supplies or to cart refuse to the tip in Humansdorp.

Our loyal members remain the backbone of our budget, and we are thankful for everyone.  Fundraising is also crucial and doubles as an opportunity for people to get to know FOSTER’s people and mission.

Reserve costs rightly take the lion’s share of our expenditure, with admin costs kept to a bare minimum.

Although our records show a small surplus, we are actually very slightly in the red; 17,050 of the income shown was a deposit made for the previous year’s golf day. So, we need to keep just slightly better control over our budget in the future. We also hope to increase our savings.

Closing

In closing the FOSTER AGM 2024 Matt said, “FOSTER has embarked on a bitou control pilot project with funding from Rotary and if this is successful, we have been promised more funding from other sources too as a lead project for 2024. We will continue with our alien removal project and, of course, the regular maintenance of our trails and managing the fire breaks.

What a privilege it is to be able to live in this part of the world, unless one travels regularly it is easy to forget what a special place this is and why our biodiversity and heritage are worth fighting for and saving for the long term. Standing at the two-bay lookout or one of the viewpoints of the Irma Booysen or just walking along a trail in the Seal Point or Seal Bay reserves one realises what it’s all for and why we need organisations like FOSTER and its volunteers to keep what is rightfully ours for all our community. It remains a mystery why so few people contribute financially to FOSTER when it is so easy to see the results. Thanks to those of you who do – the younger generation and those not yet born will thank you one day”.

The full report can be read on our website at – foster.org.za

Ricky Talevi is the 2024 Pam Golding Properties – St Francis Bay KING OF THE KROMME

Ricky Talevi is the 2024 Pam Golding Properties – St Francis Bay KING OF THE KROMME

Caption: Ricky Talevi, Pam Golding King of the Kromme, and Chloë Bunnett, Pam Golding Queen of the Kromme, with Pam Golding Franchisee Richard Arderne

The Pam Golding Properties – St Francis Bay KING OF THE KROMME

Ricky Talevi is the 2024 Pam Golding Properties – St Francis Bay KING OF THE KROMME.

This will be the first time his name will be on the trophy, joining an illustrious group, including Andy Birkett, who is off to the Olympics in July.

At last, one might add, with Ricky being an almost-local, regular participant and so fast and so fit for the last five or more years.

He shot off at the start at 3pm on Easter Saturday like a scalded cat. He paddled the 20km alone, winning easily by 5 minutes, with a recently broken hand too!

Second and third were also household names in the paddling world, Brandon Van Der Walt and Steve Woods.

Somewhat surprisingly, neither could stay with Ricky’s “scalded cat” start nor could their bunch catch him.

Chloë Bunnett, multiple Cape Point winner, unsurprisingly is the 2024 Pam Golding QUEEN OF THE KROMME, eight minutes ahead of very fit Kirstin Scott, with Tracey van der Walt a further few minutes back.

Chloë actually was third overall, so perhaps she should also have occupied the third step on the men’s podium!

Tracey van der Walt (3rd), Chloë Bunnett (1st), Kirstin Scott (2nd), with Richard Arderne

Just behind the podium finishers were Andrew Stone, Gordon Spalding, Patrick Birkett, Shaun Frayne and first U18, Matthew Coetzer.

Then, there was quite a gap before Werner Smit, Angus Warren, Gary Atkinson, and Johann Staats. And then U18s Leo Stone and injured Christian Middleton and seasoned paddler Louis Beyers.

On a sunny afternoon, this was a race of two halves .. the first 10km with both a strong easterly and an incoming tide, and the second 10km into both wind and tide!

Up the slightly sheltered Geelhout, as I approached the turn buoy, I was surprised to see Ricky alone on his way back, well ahead, with various bunches following behind.

My personal tussle in the 65 and over category with evergreen Gary Atkinson took a pleasant turn when he had an altercation with a fishing line near the turn buoy. Before this, I had been 50m behind him, Tracey and Werner, taking turns to pull for most of the race’s first half.

But he sadly untangled himself from the fishing line quickly and was back with us in a flash.

Then luck turned against him again when he and Tracey in K1s took a shortcut over a sandbank that proved to be too shallow. This gave Werner and me (in surf skis) a chance to make a break, taking turns to pull … until I fell off his pace with 800m to go to the finish.

The long course did indeed feel very, very long.

And, of course, congrats to all the short-course paddlers.

Hats off to anyone who could paddle back in those conditions when resting was not an option because wind and tide would quickly push you backwards.

There were some fine performances by the doubles in both races, with the young Moore boys again being the standout performers. (It’s a singles race, but doubles are welcome)

I had hoped Brian Wilson and Toby Mare would give me the slip of a lifetime, but that pesky sand bank slowed them near the start.

Thanks again to all our wonderful St Francis paddling club volunteers … and, of course, to Carbonology for their umpteenth lucky draw for a brand new paddle valued at R3200. Thanks Jason Goedhals and Hein Van Rooyen.

Thanks to the five photographers who shot clips of the start from different viewpoints… the beginning of a paddling race is quite a spectacle, especially as a good start (like in many sports) can be influential in the final positions.

The Pam Golding King of the Kromme has been held annually since 2006, with R8000 up for grabs this year, plus many bottles of the highly sought-after red wine.

Our next race is the Pam Golding Winter Canals Doubles Challenge in July, either 10km (two 5km laps) or 20km (four 5km laps).
Richard Arderne